[whatwg] Issues relating to the syntax of dates and times

Pentasis pentasis at lavabit.com
Wed Nov 26 02:30:11 PST 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ian Hickson" <ian at hixie.ch>
To: "Pentasis" <pentasis at lavabit.com>
Cc: <whatwg at lists.whatwg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: [whatwg] Issues relating to the syntax of dates and times

> On Wed, 26 Nov 2008, Pentasis wrote:
>> No, I understand. That was not the point I was making. I mean it the
>> other way around.
>> I am *not* saying that the second example (44BC) should be able to be
>> marked-up like this, but that -because we can't mark that one up-
>> neither shoudl we mark up the second example. In other words the spec
>> should be clear on the fact that it is not intended for this kind of use
>> either. Perhaps it should be more of a "time-stamp"? (like the
>> address-element is actually only used for the author of the
>> article/page/site so this element is like that?)
>> I hope I make myself clear?
> The spec draws the line already -- it says that the date has to be in the
> proleptic Gregorian calendar, and that the year has to be greater than
> zero. Now admittedly even down near the bottom of that the dates get a bit
> unspecific, but I'm not sure what we can really do about that. Drawing the
> line around 1582 seems somewhat arbitrary as well. At least 0001 is a neat
> place to draw the line, since it is the place at which the syntax would
> have to change in some way.

Like I said, I completely understand the issues here. It just seems a bit 
strange to me to choose one specific calendar and promote that one to 
"exact". thereby not only limiting the use of the time-element in regard to 
*any* time/date but even within its own calendrical base (1582 as you 
correctly point out, but also to any leap-stuff that came after it).
I still think it would be better to simply let go of the "we want the 
time/date to be exact (in relation to our current calendar/clocks)" and use 
a more relative construct. But only because I find it illogical from a 
semantical point of view. I can accept the technical limitations. So I will 
concede ;-)
in the end it is up to the author to use this element and I strongly suspect 
it will be misused and abused because of it's illogical limitations (this is 
no critisism, just an observation of the element itself)


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